BIG SCARY – ” Daisy “

Posted: May 6, 2021 in MUSIC
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Big Scary – ‘Daisy’ review: Melbourne indie-pop duo return with their grooviest album yet, Tom Iansek and Jo Syme set aside the guitars and recast themselves as an eccentric disco outfit on their fourth album

Melbourne’s Big Scary have never been an ordinary indie-pop band. Their very versatility has engendered experimentation, flux and transgression. Now, after 2016’s bombastically maximalist ‘Animal’, they’ve returned with ‘Daisy’: a whimsical synth-funk album that ushers in their own bohemian Daisy Age.

A traditionally autonomous duo – of Tom Lansek on lead vocals, guitar and keys, and Joanna Syme on drums and backing vocals – Big Scary have long defied any limitations. Their 2010 EP series ‘The Big Scary Four Seasons’ traversed myriad genres: Bon Iver-y neo-folk, piano balladry, prog rock and garage-punk. They incorporated hip-hop recording techniques for 2013 breakthrough ‘Not Art’, which won the Australian Music Prize. Then, with ‘Animal’, the band revelled in theatrical post-rock, Lansek’s usually supple voice arch as he incongruously assumed a pseudo American twang. Ironically, ‘Animal’ was Big Scary’s most commercially successful album, yielding a hit in ‘The Opposite Of Us’.

Named after an oft-overlooked garden bloom, ‘Daisy’ is the antithesis of ‘Animal’. Lansek and Syme have abandoned grand artifice; indeed, amid the COVID-19 lockdown, Big Scary have conceived a concentrated and enclosed album. It’s also more of a joint effort than previous records: on ‘Daisy’ Lansek and Syme share vocal and lyric duties, ruminating on relationships, authenticity and aspiration in a digital world  ‘Daisy’ has zero guitars, as Big Scary fully embrace synths following Lansek’s electronic side-project No Mono with Lowlakes’ Tom Snowdon and Syme moonlighting as DJ Slymewave. Somewhat surprisingly, the pair add buoyant dance rhythms: ‘Wake’, a knowingly melodramatic duet about co-dependence, blends Warpaint and Washed Out’s chillwave.

Big Scary – Get Out! (Daisy LP | 2021)

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